Sports Morning Headlines-Friday, 12/17/10

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Friday, December 17, 2010.

Ginobili provides game-winner at both ends - The basketball talk in Denver all week has been about Carmelo Anthony and his future with the Nuggets, and the buzz was still in the Pepsi Center when the Spurs arrived for a nationally televised game on Thursday night. By game’s end, the Spurs had reminded a sellout crowd and the TNT network’s audience that they’ve created a buzz of their own, handing the Nuggets just their second home-court loss of the season and extending their win streak to seven games with a dramatic 113-112 victory. For the second game in a row, Manu Ginobili supplied the late-game heroics for the Spurs. This time, he did it on both ends of the floor.    READ MORE

Duncan’s All-Star streak in jeopardy - Spurs captain Tim Duncan’s streak of consecutive All-Star Game starts appears to be in jeopardy. Playing fewer minutes and averaging a career-low in points, Duncan is currently fifth in fan voting among Western Conference forwards for the 2011 game, scheduled for Feb. 20 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.   READ MORE

Even when struggling, Manu is still MVP candidate - Manu Ginobili was laboring through a forgettable game. The Spurs looked like just another tired team playing the second game of a back-to-back. Not a good combination. But somewhere during a tumultuous fourth quarter, Ginobili found his second wind in the Mile High altitude of the Pepsi Center in Denver.  The result was a wild 113-112 victory over Denver that showcased Ginobili’s skills in what some observers were calling his worst game of  the season before his late charge.   READ MORE

Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs postgame 3-pointers - We saw three things tonight that we might never see again. 1. A dunk like J.R. Smith’s … 2. An inbounds pass, with under 10 seconds left, bouncing off a dude’s head and leading to a dunk for the opposition … 3. A charge to end the game – on a shot that otherwise would have been the game-winner.   READ MORE

Yao, Rockets at crossroads - Injury could mean end to career that was filled with promise.  It could be over for Yao Ming. His career as a Rocket. His basketball career, period. It is another sad day for the Rockets' big man, who because of a slew of injuries has never lived up to the superstar status thrust upon him as the No. 1 pick in the 2002 NBA draft and the face of basketball for a nation of 1.3 billion.   READ MORE

Is this the end? - To Rockets' dismay, Yao has yet another ankle fracture.  Yao Ming said in the offseason that he would consider retirement if he had been unable to stay healthy. Rockets center Yao Ming's career, which began with spectacular hope and promise, could be facing its greatest threat. An MRI performed Thursday found a stress fracture in Yao's left ankle five months after he said he might have to retire if he cannot stay healthy. Yao, however, held out hope that he can come back from his latest setback.   READ MORE

Chatting with the Enemy: An Interview with Chip Crain - We interrupt the Yao Ming apocalypse to bring you something pretty cool. After the Rockets faced the Grizzlies in Memphis a few weeks ago, Chip Crain of 3 Shades of Blue emailed me and thought we should dish on our respective teams. 3 Shades of Blue is the TrueHoop Network site for the Memphis Grizzlies, and Chip writes quite a bit for the site, including game previews, which look really similar to mine. We disagreed on a few positions and advantages, including the power forward spot, so he wanted to ask my opinions on some things and offered to answer some of my questions. What follows are his responses to some questions I emailed him.   READ MORE

On trading Yao - After the news today, I asked a friend about the possibility of trading Yao.  Via email, Andrew, one of the persons whose opinion on basketball matters I trust most: Only if Yao himself agrees that he is done. I haven’t read everything related to the latest, so I just don’t know. And more importantly, trying and doing are two separate questions.  But a couple things…   READ MORE

Suns-Mavericks has lost its emotion - Time was when a Mavericks-Suns game was an emotional reunion for players transplanted from one roster to the other. Now? Dirk Nowitzki didn't even hold a spare bedroom open for buddy Steve Nash, what with family from Germany in town. "I've got a houseful already," Nowitzki said. He noted Nash has been back in Phoenix longer than he was in Dallas (seven seasons to six).   READ MORE

Don't worry Mavericks fans, Spurs can't keep up their current pace - The Mavericks don't owe apologies to anybody after the first 25 games of the season. They've done nothing but overachieved when the bottom line is the gauge.  What's amazing is that they rattled off 12 consecutive wins, had 19 wins in the first 23 games and still weren't in first place in their division, much less the Western Conference.  Looking around, it's hard to believe San Antonio is this good. And we can point out some reasons to doubt them.    READ MORE

If J.J. Barea was four inches taller, he'd start for every team in the league - Mavericks beat writer Eddie Sefko answered your questions in his weekly e-mail newsletter - Inside the Dallas Mavericks. Here are some highlights. Ryan K., Dallas asks ... I am sick and tired of watching J.J. Barea dribble at the top of the key until the shot clock reaches 10 or below. It's no wonder our team struggles to hold leads when the reserves come into the game. What is it going to take to play up tempo, and avoid the half court, grind-it-out style? That is not our bread and butter since we do not have a creator/penetrator since Devin Harris left. Thoughts?  SEFKO: I'll forewarn you that you won't like this answer.  J.J. Barea is the only Maverick who will consistently put pressure on the interior of a defense by driving to the bucket.  That makes him a valuable asset in my book.    READ MORE







Rangers lose valued member in Wangner - Charles F. Wangner, who was one of the longest serving and most dedicated members of the Rangers' organization and family, passed away Wednesday evening after a long illness. He was 77.  Wangner was one of the first members of the organization going back to 1960 when the American League granted an expansion franchise to Washington D.C. after the original Senators moved to Minnesota. He was with the organization in an official capacity up until 1996 but never lost his passion for the game and the franchise.    READ MORE

Rangers sign Onaka to Minor League contract - The Rangers have signed a 22-year-old Japanese outfielder to a Minor League contract. Hirotoshi Onaka is the second Japanese-born player to join the Rangers organization this offseason, after right-hander Yoshinori Tateyama, who signed a Major League deal on Nov. 30. Onaka's signing was announced in a news conference at International Pacific University, where he hit .327 with five home runs in a four-year, 75-game career. The 5-foot-8 switch-hitter played center field in his final two seasons of college.    READ MORE

Are any moves, deals forthcoming from Astros? - With Spring Training right around the corner, there are still many questions remaining about the Astros and possible moves in the team's future. Brian McTaggart answers in his Inbox.    READ MORE

Award-winning viewing on tap for Friday night - Watch live on MLB Network and MLB.com on Friday at 7 p.m. CT, when the game's biggest stars take home GIBBY Awards, as determined by This Year In Baseball balloting.   READ MORE



 

Get Ready for Round 2 - "Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan says fans should get their popcorn ready for his rematch with Texans receiver Andre Johnson, but not because he's out for revenge. "Retaliation is for the birds," Finnegan said. "Regardless if I'm right or wrong, I'm going to apologize to get this off my heart." After fighting three weeks ago in the Texans' 20-0 victory at Reliant Stadium, the NFL fined both players $25,000. Johnson has expressed deep regret over the situation and said he'll observe better self-control even if Finnegan doesn't follow through on his pregame apology. "I know what type of player he is — he's a feisty guy who plays very hard," Johnson said.    READ MORE

Cortland Finnegan won't dwell on rematch - "Cortland Finnegan's teammates joked about his rematch with Texans receiver Andre Johnson, calling Sunday's game Round 2 and a can't-miss showdown. Finnegan even had a little fun with it Wednesday, borrowing a line from Terrell Owens. "Get your popcorn ready,'' the Titans cornerback said with a smile. Then he did his best to quash the hype. It's less than three weeks since Finnegan and Johnson fought in the fourth quarter of Houston's 20-0 win at Reliant Stadium. Both players were ejected, and the NFL fined them $25,000 each. Finnegan plans to be a peacemaker before the rematch at LP Field.    READ MORE

Defensive line shows improvement - "For the first time since he was drafted by the Texans, defensive tackle Amobi Okoye won't be playing with defensive end Mario Williams, who was placed on injured reserve. "It's unfortunate to lose a guy like that, and he's battled with it the whole year and has played tough," Okoye said. "Every time you have somebody that goes down it's an opportunity for somebody to step up and show the league, their teammates, peers and himself that he belongs in the league. We are looking for everybody to pitch in. It's going to take more than one guy." Defensive ends Mark Anderson and Tim Jamison will replace Williams against the Titans.    READ MORE

Finnegan avoids talking tough before facing Johnson again - "Cortland Finnegan does not want to get kicked out of Sunday's game against the Houston Texans. That's why the Tennessee Titans' cornerback was careful not to put his foot in his mouth Wednesday. When asked about his pending matchup with Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson (noon, Sunday, LP Field), he simply smiled and tried to say as little as possible. "I want to be out there playing for this team," Finnegan said. "I know they want me out there. We just want to win the next football game." Finnegan and Johnson both were ejected with 7:53 to go in the Texans' 20-0 victory on Nov. 28 at Houston.    READ MORE

AccuScore Numbers For Washington Redskins – Dallas Cowboys - The fine folks at AccuScore take a look inside the numbers for this weekend’s game between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. What does Dallas need to do to beat Washington other than score more points? Have a look!  WATCH/READ MORE

Tony Romo, Candice Crawford engaged - Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo took a knee in memorable fashion Thursday night. KDAF-TV in Dallas reported that Romo got engaged to girlfriend Candice Crawford. Crawford, a former Miss Missouri, works as a sports reporter at the television station.   READ MORE

Why have the Cowboys abandoned the downfield pass? - For much of the night, Jon Kitna swiveled like a gun turret in the pocket, delivering passes from one sideline to the other. He threw left, right and over the middle against Philadelphia last Sunday. Thirty-five times in the Cowboys' 30-27 loss, he cocked his arm and fired the ball. But only once did he throw a pass that traveled farther than 20 yards through the air. And it fell incomplete. That one futile attempt provided the latest evidence that the Cowboys' offense has recoiled in recent weeks. In the last four games, Kitna has rarely thrown deep, choosing instead to connect with receivers running shallow and intermediate routes. "It's hard to get the ball downfield," Kitna said.  READ MORE






Photos: A review of the 2010 SMU football season - SMU failed to win its first conference title since the 1980's, but the Mustangs did earn a second consecutive bowl berth in 2010. SMU finished the season at 7-6, and hosts Army in the Armed Forces Bowl at Ford Stadium on Dec. 30.   READ MORE

Gary Patterson more worried about Wisconsin's passing attack - Wisconsin is known for its big offensive line and a trio of hefty running backs, but TCU coach Gary Patterson is concerned about another key element of the Badgers' attack.   READ MORE

TCU coach's survival: I wasn't afraid to die, but I didn't want to - When Patty Williamson finally made it to her husband's side, the first words out of TCU assistant coach Eddie Williamson's mouth were, "Did we score?"   READ MORE

Texas A&M was the clear choice for the Cotton Bowl and here's why - Bowl fever has struck Texas A&M fans, at least according to my e-mail this week.  The questions could roughly be divided into two categories:  1. Were the Aggies really headed to the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic?  2. Why do you say A&M is headed to the Cotton Bowl? What about Missouri, which demolished the Aggies at Kyle Field? Or Oklahoma State? Or the loser of the Big 12 title game?    READ MORE

Could Texas, Texas A&M be experiencing a shift in the Big 12 South? - Much will be on the line Thanksgiving night at Royal-Memorial Stadium. Texas A&M will be seeking a potential share of the Big 12 South title and an inside track to the AT&T Cotton Bowl. Texas is playing for a chance to keep playing, with bowl-eligibility in doubt for the first time since 1997. That should be big enough. It isn’t for some, who are seeing a grander meaning in the game, a potential changing of the guard in the state and maybe the Big 12.  Texas A&M is already poised to finish ahead of Texas in the Big 12 South for just the second time since Mack Brown came to Austin. Could this be the start of something new?    READ MORE

Texas A&M: 3 starters injured; don't expect Jerrod Johnson to play; Mike Sherman coach of year? - Texas A&M has three defensive starters dealing with injuries that cloud their availability for the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, Aggies coaches said Wednesday. Cornerback Coryell Judie (shoulder) and safety Steven Campbell (foot) are trying to delay surgeries until after the 18th-ranked Aggies (9-3) meet No. 11 LSU (10-2) on Jan. 7 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Defensive end Tony Jerod-Eddie, who broke a foot in the Aggies' 24-17 victory over Texas on Nov. 25, is hoping to recuperate from surgery in time to compete in the game.    READ MORE

TCU and Texas A&M land players on All-American first team - TCU senior safety Tejay Johnson and Texas A&M senior linebacker Von Miller were among the 25 players to make the Associated Press All-American first team on Tuesday. The two defenders were the only players from Texas schools to make the first team.  The Horned Frogs also had a pair of player selected for the second team. Senior center Jake Kirkpatrick and junior linebacker Tank Carder each received the honor.   READ MORE




Rivalry continues to heat up as Sharks defeat Stars, 4-3, in OT - The rivalry between the Stars and San Jose Sharks continues to get better. For the third time this season, the two teams needed an extra period to decide the outcome – and this time the Sharks came out the winners. Logan Couture scored a power-play goal at the 1:20 mark of overtime to give San Jose a 4-3 victory and a little bit of vengeance for a shootout loss on Monday to the Stars. The Stars move to 18-10-3 for the season, good for 39 points, while the Sharks crawl a point closer at 16-11-5 (37 points).    READ MORE
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